Over at the Daily Green, Leslie Land, longtime gardening and food writer, has written a great blog post weighing the pros and cons of planting exotic veggies: “I’ve never been able to resist oddball vegetables; show me a shape or color that’s different and bam, it goes on the order list,” she says.
But it turns out not all of the interestingly colored and shaped vegetables are worth a spot in her garden. Varieties that didn’t do it for her include orange eggplants, which she says aren’t actually meant to be eaten when orange (“[T]he orange stage is fully mature, aka inedible. You eat them when they’re green and there are plenty of other eggplants—green, purple, lavender and white—that taste and yield better”); purple, yellow, and white carrots (“None tasted anywhere nearly as good as the best orange carrot”); and cylindrical beets (“never as sweet and flavorful as the rainbow of round varieties, red, orange, white and candy striped that produce well every year”).
Some exotics did make it onto her staple planting list however. She is a fan of a round zucchini variety called Ronde de Nice because it’s great for stuffing, as well as white currant tomatoes, which she says are “beyond easy to grow” and “beyond delicious.”